Notes: The 2002 Honda Accord suffers from widespread transmission failure, subframe rust, & problems with the airbag system (SRS). We recommend avoiding this model year like the plague.

The transmission begins slipping & eventually has to be replaced, typically soon after 90,000 miles & with a repair cost of over $2,000. Transmission failure has been a huge problem for the Accord & several other Honda models all through the early 2000s model years. Honda extended the transmission warranty to 93 months/109k miles for the 2000-2001 Accord as a class action lawsuit settlement, but owners of other Accord model years with transmission problems are out of luck.

Subframe rust near the front passenger side wheel has become a problem recently, due to the poorly positioned A/C drain hose directly above that area. Repair cost to the subframe is over $2,000.

The SRS warning light likes to come on due to a defective seat belt sensor -- typically the driver's side. This sensor is covered under Honda's lifetime seat belt warranty, but some dealers charge a $100+ "diagnostic fee" or tell customers the entire SRS unit ($800) is bad.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
94,680 miles
Total Complaints:
351 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. recall should be issued, replaced @ Honda's expense (187 reports)
  2. replace transmission (51 reports)
  3. not sure (45 reports)
  4. replaced transmission (32 reports)
  5. replaced transmission, split cost with Honda (14 reports)
  6. Honda refused to repair under warranty, had to pay (9 reports)
2002 Honda Accord transmission problems

transmission problem

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2002 Honda Accord Owner Comments (Page 8 of 18)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #211

Oct 162008

Accord SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 227,000 miles


I started having problems with my transmission when I first bought the car and kept complaining to the dealership. Of course I was told nothing was wrong with it. Eventually a couple of years ago took it to the dealer who said I needed a new transmission and it would cost approximately $3,000 to repair. I then conferred with a transmission specialist and he said to just drive it until it stopped and I am still doing that. It is now having serious problems changing gears and slipping very bad. This is my second Honda with transmission problems. NO MORE HONDAS FOR ME AND NO MORE REFERRING MY FRIENDS THE TRANSMISSIONS ARE A PIECE OF JUNK AND HONDA NEEDS TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEM.

- , Houston, TX, USA

problem #210

Feb 192010

Accord EX 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,500 miles

Bought this car last September from a Professor at the university. I had got the car thoroughly checked by a very reliable mechanic, who said that apart from the transmission fluid leak, the car was in excellent condition and looked like it was very well maintained. It was at 94,500 miles then. 2,000 miles and 5 months later, the Check Engine indicator lights up, along with the TCS indicator and a flashing D4 light. The TCS and flashing D4 stopped when I turned off the engine, but the CEL stayed. I took the car to a Honda dealer as soon as possible, who fleeced me out of $100 just to read the error codes off the car's computer. He told me its a P0780 (Shift Malfunction) and the only solution is to replace the entier transmission, which would cost $4,000 (!!!). He didn't seemed at all interested in diagnosing the exact cause of the problem...

The only reason I got the Honda against a Nissan or Hyundai was because of its reputation for reliability and long life. In retrospect, I should have paid more attention to that transmission leak. The car has been giving jerks in shifting from gear 1 to 2, atleast for the first 15 minutes after I take it out of the garage. Honda should definitely recall its faulty transmissions for the 2002 Accords as well. If anyone needs people to file for a class action lawsuit, please e-mail me...thanks!

Update from Mar 29, 2010: Honda gave me a goodwill discount on the transmission unit replacement. They shared half of the ~$2800 cost of the repairs, so I would say it worked out to be a pretty good deal. They said they helped me out with the discount since the car has a good service record at the dealership...

- , Austin, TX, USA

problem #209

Nov 032009

Accord EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,000 miles

Add me to the list of people who are experiencing 2002 Honda Accord transmission issues. Bought the vehicle used. Had the transmission serviced by the shop recommended by Utah Better Business.

Fluid coming out of the tranny was still pink - no metal bits in the fluid - replaced fluid utilized Honda's required special blend. I was good to go.

Vehicle still would lurch forward when you put it in gear or came to a stop. Research on the internet made me sick...I did not do due research prior to buying the car based upon the "glowing and rave" reviews on the Honda brand. Maybe if Honda hears enough kicking and screaming they might try and address us poor souls that are stuck with a $3,000 + repair bill to replace the transmission.

My mechanic advises us to really evaluate if we want to put a $3K investment into a the vehicle. Listening to the stories on the internet, I am not sure that a new transmission will last the years required to recoup the money. Seems like Honda needs to man up and address the problems that folks are seeing with this year's model transmission. They did recall the transmissions on the years previous to the the 2002. My neighbor had her 2001 Accord's transmission replaced three times under warranty.

Hey Honda - are you listening to your customers? Wake up and quit trying to ignore the issue! Yes there is a problem. No it is not caused by improper maintenance or misuse of the vehicle. Look at the data!

Update from Mar 29, 2010: Next steps taken: Entered in a complaint to Better Business Bureau (for the first time in my life.) Honda's response was to have me call their customer service office.

Called Honda and was given a reference number and basically told that I must take the car into one of their service centers for evaluation (even though this had already been done by a reputable mechanic)

When Honda evaluated the vehicle I was told "about your transmission - you need one" and instructed to call back Customer Service Office. The cost I paid to get this valuable information was $107.

Called back the Honda Service Office and after reviewing my information was told that a Honda Service Manager would call me back during the next three days.

In the meantime while having my truck's transmission serviced as part of the routine maintenance at a reputable non-Honda service shop, I inquired about the 2002 Honda transmissions and what they had experienced.

This Transmission Manager told me he has seen many come in...a piece in the transmission (clutch converter) has a tendency to dissinigrate and then pieces of the part are circulated through the transmission tearing it up requiring a completely new install. Nothing could be done on my end as a end user to prevent the failure - it just happens. Ouch!! One useful piece of information gleaned was that it was important during a rebuild to completely replace all the electronic components of the transmission ($800 part cost) - many shops only replace the obvious failed transducers which leads to frequent failures and returns back to the service center. Shop rate for the repairs including parts was around $2,900. Yippee!

I will wait for the call from the Honda Service Manager and hope for the best (but expect the worst).

- , Kaysville, UT, US

problem #208

Jan 012010

Accord EX V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles


Just found this wonderful website and began having heart palpitations immediately! I have a 2002 Honda Accord and had just started noticing some transmission slippage in the past few months. I need to point out that I have over 150,000 miles on my car with no real problems to report (yeah, I know....spoke too soon... my doors will probably fall off as I'm driving in a torrential downpour). Just really wondering if all of the 207 cars on the complaint log were manufactured in the US or in Japan? It'll tell you on the sticker on the door jam. When I ordered my car, I was told to wait a little while till the next shipment came in from Japan, that they were "made better". Could this be true? Hmmmm...

- , Egg Harbor Township, NJ, USA

problem #207

Feb 232010

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,000 miles

I bought my used Accord in May of 2009, almost 10 months ago from a Honda dealer. It's a V6 so I expected it to have power but it didnt really. It felt sluggish and would hesitate and jerk when accelerating to get onto the highway.

A few days ago, my check engine light came on...then the D4 light started blinking.....and the TCS light came on, all within a few seconds. I called Honda and they told me to bring it in that night. I was called the next day saying I needed a new transmission, and I was shocked. The car only has 74k miles. My last car was a 1995 Honda Prelude with 154k miles and it never had any transmission problems in the 3 yeas had it. Honda said it would be $2,600 to get it replaced.

After complaining that I just bought this car . . . the sales manager said he would negotiate a good price for me ($1500-$2000) and would split the cost 50/50 with me. That made me feel better since its not as much but still, why does this car have this problem at such early mileage.

If Honda knew about this problem that seems to be prevalent, they should do the right thing and recall it or at least offer to pay 50% or more of the cost. I am happy Honda offered to pay what they did.....but I am still going to get a second opinion.

- , Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #206

Aug 012009

Accord 3.0v Tec

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,930 miles


This is one angry senior the 2002 Honda Accord I have only had a little over a year transmission jerking and shifting all by it,s self problems. It only has sixty two thousand miles on the car. I was on the highway and the car started shifting and jerking all by it's self.It was so frighting I thought I was going to get hit from behind.I had to put my emergency blinkers on and drive in second gear for miles on the side of road till I reached home the highway has no turn off till you reach the town I live in .I still have 3yrs to pay on the car no car to drive.I know that Honda must be aware of this problem they need to recall theses cars before some gets killed.I will also be part of the class action suit if Honda does not step up and recall these death traps.

- , Kihei, HI, USA

problem #205

Jan 012009

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles


Bought 2002 Honda Accord V6 used from local Honda dealer March 2005. The car was "Honda Certified", but had been in an accident (could not find all VIN numbers on body parts). Was told by dealer that this was not true, so I used it to negotiate a "fairly" better price (I'm sure I did not take food off the salesman's table). My 5th Honda (80 civic, 88 civic, 98 civic, 02 civic, 02 accord), but my 1st accord. First problems were the shady paint job done to conceal collision damage. Then came the dashboard light problems (kept replacing dashboard lights). Next, a few years later, transmission problems. I don't know if I am more dissatisfied with Honda, or the dealer. Buyer beware! With my Civics, I could bank on replacing the clutch and timing belt, but with the accord, I don't know what is around the corner. With the recent Toyota problems, it is hard to trust Japanese quality, and I have already excluded American quality, so it looks like my next 5 cars will be German.

- , Rock Hill, SC, USA

problem #204

Dec 282009

Accord EX 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 53,800 miles

every car has his problem, but the maker should do something about the problem. there are so many cars like that.

- , Buffalo, NY, USA

problem #203

Oct 012001

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100 miles

My Honda Accord transmission gave me problems from the day I bought the car. Went on several drives with sales person, service manager and district rep during the first 3 months. They all said that is just the way it shifts because it is a "high performance" car. Brought it at other times and was told there was nothing they could do so never reattempted again until 100k. Now they say they won't fix it because I didn't bring it in for servicing with them. Now I'm stuck with this death trap. I hope their will be a class action suit and they are made to pay. So many transmissions shouldn't be failing at such a low milage. I will make sure that joe public knows. Honda has hid from this too long.

- , Johnstown, CO, USA

problem #202

Sep 012009

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

Another in a long line of complaints about Honda Accord transmissions. We spent the extra money to get a Honda because of its good reputation for reliability...very disappointing.

- , Portland, OR, USA

problem #201

Dec 032009

Accord ES 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 69,850 miles


notified Honda of America and the best the could do is install a new transmission at a cost of 1900.00 out of my pocket! i am going to dump it into the hands of a dealer for trade in for a new ford or chevy.

Honda in my eyes made some junk transmissions and are not stepping up to the plate and taking responsibility. BUY AMERICAN

- , Milton, MA, USA

problem #200

Jan 222010

Accord LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

I was surprised at 110k transmission slipped & jerked. Like others, I believed Honda built cars which would last 200k or more w/o major repairs.

Fortunately, the mechanic at the dealership offered contacting Honda for me to request a Goodwill repair. Honda responded and covered 35% of the repair & the dealership covered 15%. So, I was grateful to walk out paying $1288 which included an oil change & right rear tire plug.


- , Harper Woods, MI, USA

problem #199

Feb 032010

Accord ES 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,000 miles

I really think that this is a real problem, thank goodness I was close to home and family plus I had AAA on my side. When I called Honda they asked for my V.N # after I gave it to them three times they told me that my car was not in their date

- , Concord, CA, US

problem #198

Jan 152010

Accord EX 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,500 miles

The check engine light was on and error code pointed to transmission. Honda Dealer recommended to change the transmission as it will fail, and the cost is very high. I believe Honda should provide extended warranty for this model and replace the transmission at Honda's expense. I did transmission fluid change per Honda's severe schedule, and can't believe Accord's transmission will fail at merely 90k milage. I am debating if I should continue buying Honda/Acura cars or SUVs.

- , Roswell, GA, USA

problem #197

Sep 172008

Accord EX 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,000 miles

The dealership contacted Honda USA and informed them that their had been an ongoing issue with my transmission having burnt fluid starting around 50,000 miles, but since the car was out of the extended warranty there was nothing they could do.

- , Waddell, AZ, USA

problem #196

Aug 152007

Accord EX 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 134,000 miles

This is becoming a fn headache. Bought four transmission already and no freaking luck what so ever. I don't know what to do

- , Dorchester, MA, USA

problem #195

Oct 302003

Accord Limited V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 7,500 miles

I purchased this vehicle new. From the first day I drove it I felt as if the shifting on the vehicle was not properly shifting. The 1st and 2nd gear shift was not correct. I had driven other makes and realized from the get go that the transmission was going to have problems.

I mentioned it to the service fellow at the dealership I purchased the car from and they said it was normal. Well now I have about 46000 miles on the car and the transmission is showing more wear on it. This vehicle has low miles on it. I have always been the driver on the vehicle and it has not been abused in anyway. Unfortunately from the looks of others this is a major problem. If I make it another 10000 miles til my transmission replacement I will be fortunate. Hopefully I will have a new transmission or vehicle by than. It is a shame that Honda doesn't own up to there substandard transmission and RECALL THE TRANSMISSION!

- , Long Beachf, NY, USA

problem #194

Jun 102009

Accord EX 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,000 miles

My wife had bought an used accord in 03 and had no problems until last summer when the tranny started to give some problems . hesitates and jerks and I'm fearful that it's going to die or kill me in the process !! Still waiting for Honda to own up to the problem and issue a recall before someone dies it finally took Toyota to recall it's brake and accelerator unit.

- , Canton, MI, USA

problem #193

Oct 212009

Accord EX 3.2L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,500 miles

I am adding my name to this growing list of Accord Owners with Tranny problems. I have my Accord that I use as a part-time vehicle (I have a very long commute to the office each day and felt I would split the chore between two cars to spare any expensive costs in maintanence and/or repairs). I have upheld all recommended servicing in the owner's manuel on or before they were due. Several months ago, I started noticing a hard shift on occasion when beginning to accelerate from a dead-stop. In addition, I began noticing when slowing down a hard jerk when at about 10mph...almost like it was stopping before it should. I took the car in for the recommended timing belt change and mentioned it to the mechanic who told me that a flush of transmission fluid would help. After having him do this service and using the 'required' Honda ATF fluid...the problem persists. I am now being told that despite not having any alerts (no lights going off) 'tranny is on the way out'.

Like so many people before me, I am VERY CONCERNED about the notion I had that Honda will last 200k if you treat them right and take good care of them, only to find that gentle driving and a great deal of servicing over the last few years means nothing.... I plan to call the attorney listed before me to add my name to the list of class action filing and call American Honda to request a formal complaint. I do not know if anything can be done since the car is outside the original warranty, but I certainly will have a nasty word for Honda if ever asked for a recommendation from friends/family in the future. I am so disappointed. I hope to get some flicker of good news tomorrow and will pass along anything I discover.

- , Denver, CO, USA

problem #192

Dec 022008

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

The reason I bought a Honda was because of the reputation of it being a reliable car, obviously this is not a fact. I am appalled that Honda has not recalled these transmissions. There are so many people on the internet with similar problems. Does anyone know of any class action suits against Honda for this problem?

- , Pacifica, CA, USA

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